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Find an Animal Sanctuary in Michigan (Barn Sanctuary, Wildlife Rescue)

cows at a michigan animal sanctuary

Find an Animal Sanctuary in Michigan

Looking for an Animal Sanctuary in Michigan? Getting up close and personal with an animal is an experience appreciated by many.

Michigan animal sanctuaries, which typically house animals in need of rehabilitation, provide such a significant experience for kids and adults alike.

But finding the one that fits your needs can be tough. This is why we compiled 10 animal sanctuaries found across Michigan.

One quick note: you’ll never come across an animal sanctuary that doesn’t accept donations!
They’re often run by volunteers and receive little to no government funding, relying primarily on the kindness oftheir supporters to keep operations running. Consider bringing something to leave behind on your trip.

Marty’s Place for Animals

Located in Bruce Township, Michigan, Marty’s Place began as a hobby farm for founder Marty Clauw.
The sanctuary houses animals of all shapes, sizes, and species; from the smallest quail to the largest bison.

Marty’s Place is open all year round for tours. A one-hour tour costs $7/person and reserving a time slot can be done on their website. Be sure to contact them by email if you wish for a longer tour or plan on
bringing a large group of people.

One unique opportunity that Marty’s Place provides is a chance to feed the farm’s animals, though you
must bring the treats yourself
. Common foods include apples, pears, carrots, lettuce, and berries. Make
sure to bring a variety of whole and cut fruits and vegetables!

Border Collie at a michigan animal sanctuary


Named after a Border Collie rescued by the sanctuary’s founders, SASHA Farm sits as the largest animal sanctuary in the Midwest. It shelters over 200 formerly neglected or abandoned farm animals who come from all over the country. Originally a family farm, SASHA became a nonprofit in 2001 that provides a safe, permanent home for all its residents.

SASHA Farm hosts a variety of events throughout the year at their Manchester location, including a yearly spring social coming up on Sunday, May 21 st , 2023. At just $25/, visitors get a chance to be up close and personal with the sanctuary’s animals.

Food trucks on site provide multiple vegan options and items from the sanctuary’s bake sale are sure to provide a tasty treat. The spring social marks the start of SASHA’s visitor season, and many more events are anticipated to be announced in the future on their website.

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Sarett Nature Center 

Located along the Paw Paw River in Benton Harbor, Michigan, the Sarett Nature Center’s primary focus
is environmental education. While not a traditional animal sanctuary like the other items on this list,
Sarett provides plenty of opportunities to interact with animals. Past examples of animal-centric events
hosted by the nature center include a frog watch survey and animal appreciation day.

In addition to these events, Sarett Nature Center houses a butterfly house, open Tuesday through
Sunday from Memorial Day through September 30th.
Tickets for adults cost $8 while tickets for children
cost $4. Additionally, their property holds over 1000 acres and 8 miles of hiking trails, where native
animals can be found roaming their natural habitat.

sheep at the barn sanctuary in chelsea michigan

Barn Sanctuary

Specializing in providing a safe haven for rescued and rehabilitated farm animals, Barn Sanctuary provides its residents with roaming pastures and top-notch medical care. The farm sanctuary hosts a variety
of farm animals, including chickens, cows, donkeys, ducks, and sheep.
Located in Chelsea, Michigan,

Barn Sanctuary is a short 25-minute drive away from Ann Arbor. Public tours of the property, which are available from May through October, allow visitors to learn about rescue stories and interesting facts about the barn’s animals.

Depending on your needs, private, group, and virtual tours are also available. Each of these options provides a unique experience and an opportunity for humane education that caters to all animal lovers.

a peacock at a michigan animal sanctuary

Pan Equus Animal Sanctuary

Pan Equus Animal Sanctuary (otherwise known as PEAS) specializes in the housing and treatment of barn animals. Horses, sheep, and even peacocks can be found wandering about this sanctuary’s grounds. Its website features each of its residents’ profiles, giving a look into their unique personalities and traits.

PEAS offers a yoga and meditation retreat at its location in Oxford, Michigan, which is based on equine- assisted learning practices. For more pricing information, a contact number can be found on their site.

Updates on events are frequently featured on their YouTube channel.

sign for michigan nature centers

Howell Nature Center

This park in Howell, Michigan is no stranger to outdoor involvement. Their amenities include summer camps, wildlife rehab efforts, educational programs, and community events. With a strong emphasis on education, most of their animal programs are aimed at a K-12 audience.

The Wild Wonders Wildlife Park and the Nature Zone operate as the park’s teaching zoo that educates audiences on native wildlife. Tours can be self-guided or interpreter-led depending on your preference.

They also host a variety of wildlife-centric programs that require pre-registration, found on their site’s event calendar.

sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Wildlife Fund

This Michigan sanctuary located in Beulah, Michigan near the M22 scenic highway works towards the ecological rehabilitation of the landscape from which they work. They are a newer organization, and many of their current efforts are focused on building a solid foundation for their organization to build on and to educate the public on their efforts.

Their most highly advertised events so far are fundraising efforts, hosted at local breweries. Events such as these are advertised on their website and Facebook page

Consider reaching out to this friendly and passionate crew of nature conservationists to see if you can drop off donations and visit the critters placed under their care.

wolves at howling timbers animal sanctuary

Howling Timbers Animal Sanctuary

Serving as Michigan’s most prominent wolf and exotic animal sanctuary, this Muskegon sanctuary houses a variety of animals and provides a safe haven for them. It’s not often you’ll see large canines such as wolves and roosters roaming the same property!

To receive information on how to tour the property, reach out to the sanctuary via text or email.

About Michigan Animal Sanctuaries

This list doesn’t even begin to encompass the vast number of sanctuaries found in Michigan. When planning a trip to one of these centers, remember to do your research:

  • Will your clothes fit the weather and environment?
  • How far is the sanctuary from where you’re staying?
  • Are they currently hosting visitors?

If you’re ever confused, ask! Sanctuaries always look forward to public interest in their efforts.

Looking for adoptable dogs and cats? Check out your local humane society or local animal rescue organizations for their current animals, and give a Michigan animal their fur-ever home. You can also check for volunteer opportunities or make a donation for things such as upkeep and medical care. 

More Ideas on How to Interact with Michigan’s Native Wildlife and Scenery

  • Visit the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor.
  • Walk along the Iron Belle Trail, which connects Belle Isle in Detroit to the western tip of the Upper Peninsula.
  • Go to a state park and fish during Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend, June 10th and 11th, 2023.
bald eagle - animal sanctuary in michigan

Find an Animal Sanctuary in Michigan for Birds

Michigan Avian Experience

Connecting the natural world to our everyday life, the Michigan Avian Experience’s programs foster a sense of respect towards the outdoors and the avians who live within it. Bald eagles and great horned owls are just a couple of the impressive raptors found in this Jackson County center’s lineup.

Several open houses of the sanctuary are hosted over the summer. These tours are free, though bringing a monetary donation is not only suggested but appreciated. Private tours cost $150 and consist of an entirely outdoor tour of the premises, showcasing a behind-the-scenes look at their operations and residents.

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North Sky Raptor Sanctuary 

Working towards the rehabilitation and release of raptors, North Sky Raptor Sanctuary specializes in acclimating injured birds of prey back into the wild. Based in Interlochen, MI, near Traverse City, they aim to educate the public about bird conservation and support rehabilitation research.

Many of their events are meant for private parties or school programs, where members of the North Sky team bring birds to a location for a presentation. However, their calendar of activities is available to the public. Past events include educational seminars and collaborative celebrations with local small businesses.

Releasing a bird back into the wild is something to be celebrated, which is why North Sky Raptor Sanctuary hosts public releasing events. To get a chance to participate, follow their Facebook page to see when the next release will be hosted.

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About the Author-

Molly Grossman is a content writer and researcher with an interest in arts and nature. She is currently attending university, where she’s studying English with a minor in business. Working part-time backstage at a local performing arts center as a show supervisor, she fills her free time with hiking at local parks and reading. Though not a Michigan native, Molly adores the state’s natural wonders and indulges in its backpacking opportunities.